Tracking the Future
Follow
Find tag "ecology"
41.8K views | +2 today
Tracking the Future
Explore the most important technology and science trends! News, Analysis, Interviews, Presentations, Documentaries. All in one place at Tracking the future magazine
Curated by Szabolcs Kósa
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Changing the Global Food Narrative

Changing the Global Food Narrative | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

There’s a powerful narrative being told about the world’s food system — in classrooms, boardrooms, foundations and the halls of government around the world. It’s everywhere. And it makes complete sense when you listen to it. The problem is, it’s mostly based on flawed assumptions.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Natural deep-sea batteries

Natural deep-sea batteries | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Exploring the deep oceans presents huge technical challenges, many of which could be overcome if there were some cheap and efficient way to deliver power to machines while at depth. To tackle this problem, a collaborative research team including Ryuhei Nakamura from the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science has now demonstrated a remarkable system that uses natural hydrothermal vents on the sea floor to generate electricity.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Solar Engineering

Climate engineering-which could slow the pace of global warming by injecting reflective particles into the upper atmosphere-has emerged in recent years as an extremely controversial technology. A leading scientist long concerned about climate change offers a proposal for an easy fix to what is perhaps the most challenging question of our time. After decades during which very little progress has been made in reducing carbon emissions we must put this technology on the table and consider it responsibly.

David Keith is the Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) at Harvard University and Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

The Vertical Farm: A Keystone Concept for the the Ecocity

Dr. Dickson Despommier was born in New Orleans in 1940, and grew up in California before moving to the New York area, where he now lives and works. He has a PhD in microbiology from the University of Notre Dame. For 27 years, he has conducted laboratory-based biomedical research at Columbia University with NIH-sponsored support. He is now an emeritus professor at Columbia University and adjunct professor at Fordham University.
At present, Dr. Despommier is engaged in a project with the mission to produce significant amounts of food crops in tall buildings situated in densely populated urban centers. This initiative has grown in acceptance over the last few years to the point of stimulating planners and developers around the world to incorporate them into their vision for the future city. To date, there are vertical farms up and running in Japan, Korea, Singapore, Seattle, and Chicago, with many more in the planning stage. It is his hope that vertical farming will become commonplace throughout the built environment on a global scale.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Allan Savory: How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change

"Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert," begins Allan Savory in this quietly powerful talk. And terrifyingly, it's happening to about two-thirds of the world's grasslands, accelerating climate change and causing traditional grazing societies to descend into social chaos. Savory has devoted his life to stopping it. He now believes -- and his work so far shows -- that a surprising factor can protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Can We Bring Back the Wilderness?

Can We Bring Back the Wilderness? | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Once a rainforest is gone, it’s gone forever, right? Not necessarily. Katherine Rowland surveys the brave new world of restoration ecology: the art of breathing new life into dying lands.

Ever since Aldo Leopold warned of a world irrevocably diminished by human appetite, conservationists have urged that we “act now, before it’s too late”. But what if nature’s end was not a foregone conclusion? Imagine if we could recreate lost rivers, meadows, rainforests even…

A few years back this would have been wishful thinking. But the science of restoration ecology is a fast moving one. Across the globe, from the Aral Sea to the arid Sahel, ambitious programmes to revive and recreate degraded ecosystems are challenging the assumption that once destroyed, nature is gone for good.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Seven Themes for the Coming Decade

Seven Themes for the Coming Decade | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Understanding long-term trends is an important tool in identifying opportunities and risks. STEEP analysis looks at the world through five different perspectives – Social, Technological, Economic, Ecological, and Political.

The following are the major themes that are presently shaping the future...

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Szabolcs Kósa from Knowmads, Infocology of the future
Scoop.it!

A New Scorecard Explains How the World Is Getting Better. Really.

A New Scorecard Explains How the World Is Getting Better. Really. | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it
For centuries, optimists and pessimists have argued over the state of the world.

-

For centuries, optimists and pessimists have argued over the state of the world. Pessimists see a world where more people means less food, where rising demand for resources means depletion and war, and, in recent decades, where boosting production capacity means more pollution and global warming. One of the current generation of pessimists’ sacred texts, The Limits to Growth, influences the environmental movement to this day.

 

The optimists, by contrast, cheerfully claim that everything—human health, living standards, environmental quality, and so on—is getting better. Their opponents think of them as  “cornucopian” economists, placing their faith in the market to fix any and all problems.

But, rather than picking facts and stories to fit some grand narrative of decline or progress, we should try to compare across all areas of human existence to see if the world really is doing better or worse. Together with 21 of the world’s top economists, I have tried to do just that, developing a scorecard spanning 150 years. Across 10 areas—including health, education, war, gender, air pollution, climate change, and biodiversity—the economists all answered the same question: What was the relative cost of this problem in every year since 1900, all the way to 2013, with predictions to 2050.


Via Wildcat2030
more...
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Modern Eco-Friendly Homes Set Amongst the Trees

Modern Eco-Friendly Homes Set Amongst the Trees | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Primeval Symbiosis (Single Pole House) is an architectural design project by architecture student and interior designer Konrad Wójcik that seeks to organically install living spaces in forests without disrupting the innate beauty of nature. Wójcik's detailed presentation lays out the many benefits of this design plan in addition to the actual construction of each residence, which is fit to accommodate for households of two to four people each.
The Denmark-based creative attributes his greatest inspiration for the project as the "functionality and structure of a tree." He says, "Studying its nature allowed me to come up with ideas and solutions to create a completely self-sufficient construction." He goes on to remind people that trees serve a purpose ("For most animals, trees are the best natural shelters against predators, moisture and weather") and deforestation hinders the world from both an ecological standpoint and an environmental one.
The end-goal for this idea is to create a community of these homes in natural landscapes, avoiding massive deforestation, and ultimately leaving a carbon footprint that is as close to zero as possible

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

You Built What?!: A Tractor For The Apocalypse

You Built What?!: A Tractor For The Apocalypse | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Marcin Jakubowski didn’t study fusion physics to become a farmer. But the Polish-American scientist grew more disillusioned with academia the longer he worked toward his doctorate. Researchers withheld data to compete for grants, he says, instead of collaborating to solve big problems. “The further I went in my Ph.D. program, the less value I felt I was contributing to society,” he says. Seeking a fresh start, Jakubowski bought 30 acres of Missouri farmland and a tractor. Life in relative seclusion proved uneventful until, one day in 2008, his tractor broke down for the second and last time, spurring him to start an open-source industrial revolution.

To Jakubowski, the tractor seemed designed to fail. Why should he sink more money into fixing it or buy a replacement? He wanted a simple and useful machine, and one he could repair and upgrade on the fly. “It boiled down to lower cost in the long run,” he says.

Jakubowski built the first LifeTrac, as he calls his DIY tractor, in three months for $6,000—about $30,000 less than a comparable mass-produced model. Seeing room for improvement, he built a second prototype in just six days. He posted his progress on the tractor and other machines to an online wiki, which attracted followers, who suggested their own design tweaks. Some even visited in person to help with builds—and Open Source Ecology took off.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

How do we redesign a new economic theory framed by ecological systems?

How do we redesign a new economic theory framed by ecological systems? | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Economics as we know it today is broken. Unable to explain, to predict or to protect, it is need of root-and-branch replacement. Or, to borrow from Alan Greenspan, it is fundamentally "flawed".

But where do we look for inspiration in facilitating what is the mother of all paradigm shifts? Interestingly, the most insightful and strikingly innovative ideas are coming from all directions other than the economics profession.

Ecology offers the insight that the economy is best understood as a complex adaptive system, more a garden to be lovingly observed and tended than a machine to be regulated by mathematically calculable formulae.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Szabolcs Kósa from Sustain Our Earth
Scoop.it!

It's time to redesign our economic system

It's time to redesign our economic system | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The vital connection between economics and a healthy ecosystem is still not understood by mainstream economists and financial theorists – what will it take?


Via SustainOurEarth
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

The World in 2050

This talk draws on the latest global modeling research to construct a sweeping thought experiment on what our world will be like in 2050. The World in 2050 combines the lessons of geography and history with state-of-the-art model projections and analytical data-everything from climate dynamics and resource stocks to age distributions and economic growth projections.

more...
No comment yet.